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Noise-canceling Apple AirPods Spotted In iOS 13 Beta.

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Apple’s next version of AirPods are expected to have noise-cancellation capabilities, and the new iOS 13.2 beta offers an early preview of what they’ll look like. As discovered by 9to5Mac, the beta build contains a glyph image of the upcoming AirPods. It’s just a 2D gray-and-white icon, but even that is enough to show that design changes are on the way.

The noise-canceling AirPods seem to have traditional ear tips that extend out from the white stems for a better fit in your ears. That’s a change from the first two models, which rest in your ears and allow in a lot of ambient noise.

If Apple wants to offer noise cancellation, it’ll have to move closer to a design that creates a seal with your ear and reduces the loudness of sounds around you. More and more companies are building noise cancellation and reduction into their wireless earbuds to set them apart from the first couple waves of this product category. Sony’s 1000XM3 earbuds have NC built in, and Amazon borrowed Bose technology to integrate noise reduction into the upcoming Echo Buds. Huawei says its latest FreeBuds manage to achieve noise cancellation with an open-fit design.

9to5Mac reports that iOS 13.2 contains references to a “focus mode,” which can be toggled on or off. This might be the name that Apple gives its noise-cancellation feature.

Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman pointed out on Twitter that the glyph resembles a supposed AirPods leak from a few months ago. The hardware indeed seems to line up (with a hole where the eartips would go), but who knows.

Apple could unveil the next-generation AirPods at an event later this month, where the company could also introduce a new 16-inch MacBook, new iPad Pros, and a Tile-like personal item tracker.

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A Fully Electric Range Rover To Be Launched Soon.

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It seems that Land Rover is working on its first fully electric Range Rover alongside a new flagship Jaguar XJ saloon. This new all-electric vehicle is thought to be the company's most road-centric vehicle yet but still with more off-road capabilities than competitors.  Advertisement

The new vehicle is being developed under the working name of "Road Rover" and is thought to be a competitor to the all-electric Porsche Macan and the Audi e-tron.

A electric Range Rover made by Jaguar Land Rover on display during the Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Park, Gloucestershire
© Getty A electric Range Rover made by Jaguar Land Rover on display during the Festival of British Eventing at Gatcombe Park, Gloucestershire

It's also thought that this new vehicle will sit somewhere between the Range Rover Evoque and the Velar in terms of size. 

The move towards a fully electric vehicle will also help support the company's efforts in China where its performance has been lacking of late. The Chinese government is pushing hard on fully electric cars and so this new effort in the area will help sales. 

The Road Rover is another part of Jaguar Land Rover's investment in electric car production and comes alongside the new electric Jaguar flagship XJ saloon. The continued move towards hybrid and fully-electric vehicles is a sign of JLR embracing the future. 

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RUMOURS: Apple AR Glasses Are Set for A ‘Revolutionary’ 2020 Launch.

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Apple's augmented reality headset will enter mass production as soon as the fourth quarter of this year in time for an early 2020 launch, according to a new report out today from Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and seen by MacRumors.

An Apple Glasses mockup
In his latest research note with TF International Securities, the analyst says Apple will cooperate with third-party brands to launch its first head-mounted AR product in 2020, with Changying Precision tipped to be the main chassis supplier.

A Kuo report in March claimed Apple would launch an AR product in 2020 that could be ready by the middle of next year. However, Kuo has brought forward his predicted time of release and the analyst now believes the launch window for the product will fall in the second quarter of 2020.

Back in July, a DigiTimes report claimed Apple had suspended its AR headset project, but just last month, code found in Xcode 11 and iOS 13 confirmed that Apple is still working on an augmented reality headset of some kind.

Within the internal Find My app bundle that MacRumors exclusively shared, there is also an icon depicting what appears to be an AR or VR headset that looks similar to the Google Cardboard.

Kuo understands that Apple's AR glasses will be marketed as an iPhone accessory and primarily take a display role while wirelessly offloading computing, networking, and positioning to the iPhone.

Designing the AR glasses to work as an iPhone accessory is also expected to allow Apple to keep the glasses slim and lightweight, rather than trying to pack in all the processing hardware into the one device.

As early as November 2017, Bloomberg reported that Apple was developing an AR headset. Apple originally aimed to have it ready by 2019, but the company was relaxed about not shipping a product until 2020. The report said the headset would run on a new custom operating system, based on iOS, and dubbed "rOS" for "reality operating system."

In addition, today's report underlines Kuo's previous prediction that the most important change to the Apple chassis industry chain in 2020 will be the upgrade of the 5G iPhone's metal mid-frame/chassis.

For Apple's 2020 iPhones, Kuo believes the company will adopt a new metal frame structure reminiscent of the iPhone 4, which will significantly increase the unit cost due to the increase in processing procedures and the integration of composite materials.

Today's report from the respected Apple analyst also covered Apple's iPad Pro and MacBook plans for 2020, which we've covered in a separate article.

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South Africa Set To Launch Smartphone Factory.

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New reports indicate that a smartphone factory will be officially launched in South Africa this Thursday. This development comes a year after Mara CEO Ashish Thakkar announced that he will open a smartphone factory in South Africa.

Hardly a week ago, Mara Group unveiled first ‘Made in Africa’ smartphones in Rwanda: Mara X and the pricier Mara Z.

While many companies assemble parts in African countries, they import the components from outside the continent. “We are actually the first who are doing manufacturing. We are making the motherboards, we are making the sub-boards during the entire process,” Thakkar noted earlier.

The official opening of the new factory which will be based in Dube Trade Port in Durban is going to be presided over by South Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa is a firm believer that technology and innovation can be leveraged to solve South Africa’s problems as well as bring development. It is the reason he has continuously pushed South Africa, not just as an adopter but as a leader of the new technological revolution.

Teleco company MTN has welcomed the idea of locally-made smartphones adding that “We are in the process of approving them as a potential supplier.”

Given the current developments, it is evident that Africa is developing to be a tech hub. The continent’s tech sector continues to experience significant growth and it is no doubt that it is expanding at a rapid pace. Tech startups remain one of the most funded startups across the continent.

Notably, the development of tech hubs across Africa has had a ripple effect since it has boosted tech innovations which have in turn expanded job opportunities.

A ‘tech hub’ is a physical space developed to help technology startup companies grow and succeed to become the next tech titan like the likes of Facebook. These tech hubs also offer well-established collaborations and investment networks.

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Motorola’s Moto G8 Plus Leaks WithTriple Rear Cameras, 4,000mAh Battery.

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Images and details about Motorola’s unannounced Moto G8 Plus have leaked online, giving us a hint of what to expect from the budget device. WinFuture reports that the G8 Plus will feature a triple-camera array on its rear, and it will feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 processor powered by a 4,000mAh battery. 

The phone’s three rear cameras will reportedly consist of a 48-megapixel main camera, a 16-megapixel 117-degree wide angle camera, and a third 5-megapixel depth sensor alongside a laser autofocus system. That’s pretty much the same as what we saw on the Motorola One Zoom when it was announced last month, minus that phone’s titular telephoto lens. It’s a decent upgrade over the basic dual camera found on last year’s Moto G7 Plus.

a close up of a computer
© Image: WinFuture

Battery is another area where the G8 Plus is rumored to improve on its predecessor. The G7 Plus included a 3,000mAh battery, which is three-quarters of the 4,000mAh battery in this year’s model. That’s not quite as big as the 5,000mAh battery in the G7 Power, but it’s still a big improvement.

Otherwise, the specs reported by WinFuture are more typical of a device that’s likely to be released at a budget price point. The phone includes a 1080p 6.3-inch IPS display with a small notch up top and the option of either 64GB or 128GB of internal storage alongside its 4GB of RAM. There’s also a 3.5mm headphone jack alongside the USB-C port used for charging.

If Motorola’s past device history is anything to go by, the Moto G8 Plus could be accompanied by as many as three other devices when it’s announced. Mobielkopen has unearthed images of one such device, which it speculates could be either the Moto G8 or G8 Play. Details are a little bit thinner for this device, but the images suggest it has one fewer lens on its rear, perhaps an indication that it lacks the laser autofocus system found on the Plus.

a close up of a computer
© Image: Mobielkopen

WinFuture reports that the lineup is expected to be announced at an event in Brazil on October 24th. That’s a little early, considering the G7 lineup was only announced back in February. But since the Moto G7 phones are some of the best budget smartphones around, we’re not going to complain too much about an early follow-up.

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